We have had night visitors at our backyard bird feeders several times this winter. The accompanying photo shows a young raccoon enjoying sunflower seeds one evening this week. We generally deal with this by bringing the feeders in at night for awhile until the “varmints” give up and go elsewhere, but the latest incident made me think about a recent article I read listing the loss of habitat as a major cause of bird deaths. "Elsewhere" is dwindling. Hence the importance of Hagerman and other national wildlife refuges whose mission is to provide protection, rest and shelter for migratory and other birds.
In the 2006 animated movie, Over the Hedge, a subplot shows the difficulty animals experience in the face of blind development. Think about the birds who travel the North American flyways - for years they follow a chain of a welcoming lakes, forests or prairies, then one year, oops, now a mall or housing development or major highway has taken over one or more links in that chain. You could liken it to your favorite vacation spot closing down or pricing you out! But survival, not simply enjoyment, is at stake here. Let’s support the national wildlife refuges and “leave the light on” for wildlife, as Tom Bodett would say.
To learn more about Hagerman NWR, its mission and birds of the Refuge, please go to the offical website, http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/texas/hagerman/index.html; you can also learn about acitivites and events at the Refuge by clicking on the Friends of Hagerman link, http://www.friendsofhagerman.com.
Today's post by Sue Malnory, photo by Dick Malnory